Guiding a startup through the early phases of growth can be intimidating. Many successful entrepreneurs pour incredible amounts of time, effort, and resources into getting their businesses off the ground.
Once a company has taken off, though, it can begin to reap the reward for its labors. Over time, the payback can become significantly more than they could ever need for themselves.
When an entrepreneur becomes successful, there is a natural expectation for them to share some of their newfound wealth with others in need. Here are a few examples of ways that successful business owners and their businesses can make a positive impact with their wealth.
1. Pay it forward.
One of the best ways for entrepreneurs to use their profits for good is to pay it forward to equip future generations.
The continual rebirth of business that takes place in the entrepreneurial space is dependent on the outside investment and support of others. It might be angel investing or supporting training and certification. There are many ways that both successful startups and well-established enterprises can support those who follow in their wake.
One good example of this is Technology Concepts Group International. TCGI has spent years developing forward-thinking IT solutions for its customers. Over time, the leaders at TCGI have seen the need for ongoing development, innovation, and diversity in the tech space.
This led the company to create the TCGI Foundation scholarship fund. The goal of this effort is to break barriers and create opportunities for women of color in the STEM industry.
This is done by helping them obtain the funding that they need to get into the STEM world, including both accessing STEM education and finding a job after graduation. Along with the actual work of running the foundation, TCGI also hosts fundraising events, such as its upcoming John Fitzpatrick Memorial Golf Classic fundraiser in June of 2022.
The example set by TCGI and others is a good one. There are multiple good philanthropic suggestions on this list. But finding opportunities that invest in the future good of your own industry is a primary way for entrepreneurs to make an impact.
2. Preserve what we have.
Another common way for entrepreneurs to make an impact with their money is by supporting the environment that fostered their business success.
This includes a variety of factors, from environmental conservation to paying a living wage, sourcing local ingredients, and so on.
One startup that is exemplifying this is All Real Nutrition. The Irish snack brand has developed a line of high-quality protein bars that are popular in Ireland, the U.S., and other areas of the world.
The owners of All Real have used their success to set up significant sustainability initiatives. One of these is creating the All Real Clean Planet Project. This organization donates funds to charity partners that work to clean plastic pollution from the ocean. The company committed to keeping 3.75 million bottles out of the water in 2021 alone.
In addition, the company prides itself on breathing sustainability into its day-to-day operations. It pays a living wage at the least to ensure that its workers are happy. It also has invested in sustainable packaging, sourced as many local ingredients as possible, and developed fully compostable wrappers in accordance with its pledge to be part of a cleaner world.
3. Invest in education.
We already covered education that targets development within your own industry. However, there is also a larger calling for entrepreneurs and business owners to invest in academic advancement in general.
The ability to access education and increase knowledge is what sparked the rapid cultural acceleration of the last few centuries. It’s likely one of the key concepts that will keep that developmental momentum moving forward, as well.
For a good example, this time we’re going to go back a bit in history.
Andrew Carnegie is a famous Scottish-born businessman. He came to America as a child and ultimately launched the Pennsylvania steel industry in the mid-to-late 19th century.
Carnegie was a savvy businessman and one of the richest men in early America. He sold his self-made business for nearly half a billion dollars at just 65 years old. From there, he spent the rest of his life donating $350 million to charity — much of which went to the establishment of numerous public libraries. In addition, Carnegie was one of the first people to underscore the concept that the wealthy don’t just have the option to be generous. They have a moral obligation to do so.
4. Donate what you’re already good at.
There are many different ways to give to charity. One of the simplest options for a successful business to give back to the community is to do what they do best.
If you’re a contractor, offer to help a non-profit with a construction project. Perhaps you started an IT business and could help a charity set up a safe cybersecurity network at no cost. If you’re a freelance writer, create text for nonprofit websites pro bono.
One good example of this comes from Andy Karuza of the automotive IT and semi-autonomous accessory brand FenSens. When asked for an easy way for entrepreneurs to give back after finding success, Karuza’s response was simple: offer whatever you’re good at.
For Karuza, this was marketing, something his company excelled at doing. The details may change from one company to the next.
You’ve invested heavily in honing the strengths of your business’s products and services. As a result, it’s a good idea to tap those same strengths as solutions you can offer others. This is especially the case when you look for ways to give back to your community.
There are many ways that businesspeople can make an impact. Successful entrepreneurs are supporting education and the future of their industry. Many are investing in sustainability and using their strengths to help nonprofit organizations.
The important thing is that business owners recognize when they’ve successfully passed the startup phase and are making enough revenue to be successful. Once that happens, as Carnegie pointed out a century ago, successful entrepreneurs have a moral obligation to look out for the greater good of those around them. Make sure you take that charge seriously.
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